Monthly Archives June 2013


By Jim Perkins (with Bruce Harding)
Copyright 2010

I am often asked how to choose good angles for faceting. Some of the answers were published in 19751 and are now available on the Internet at the address provided in the footnote.  One subject is ‘windowing’, which means that light passes directly through the gem without internal reflections; generally when the table is tilted from ‘normal’ (perpendicular) to a line from the viewer’s eye.

This was discussed in the subject article2, which provides charts for common materials. Each of these lists pavilion slopes across the bottom, and the maximum angle of tilt without windowing is listed across the top. Since nothing else matters in the subject of windowing, these data can be listed simply as below:


Note that quartz with 43° pavilion mains...

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Sometimes I think people think I simply wave a magic wand over the front of my computer screen and a new faceting design appears.

Creating an original and new faceting design is a much longer process and requires a lot of knowledge. Designing is a matter of experience and compromises based on lots of trial and error. To create designs is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration. Anyone who says differently is simply wrong. Some designs come easy and just seem to fall in place. Other designs will be long drawn out affairs which may span several weeks of hair pulling agony before they seem to work themselves out.

Sometimes I will awake from a sound sleep and be driven to the computer to design. A friend of mine says the MUZE visits me in my sleep...

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Have you seen how well quartz can perform?


If you haven’t seen how good quartz can truly be, try cutting this design.

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Cristinite Stars Design

Here’s a free faceting design I think you might enjoy. It will work for Cristinite which is a somewhat new synthetic available from CJP Gems or from John Franke at the Facet Shoppe. You could also cut it from Topaz.

I like it set in jewelry point down ENJOY.


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Facet Designer Freeware


For those who would like a copy of Anton Vasiliev’s FACET DESIGNER software here it is. Please note that I do not provide tech. support for this software. The manual is included in the software.

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Caring for your jewelry

caring1Caring for Jewelry—What You Need to Know

Jewelry is one of our most intimate and cherished accessories. An elegant pair of pearl and platinum earrings, for example, makes an individual statement, nestled against the skin and resplendent in lustrous light. Yet, according to experts at the nonprofit GIA, chemicals found in everyday substances like hairspray, lotions, perfumes, or other cosmetics can permanently damage the nacre of your dazzling pearl , and can corrode the alloys in that shiny setting. Understanding how to care for your treasured jewelry can make a world of difference in maintaining its beauty and keeping its heirloom quality sparkling for generations to come.

GIA says that light and heat can affect a colored gemstone’s durability and color...

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Splash Guards for FACETRONS

North Coast Lapidary has no vested interest in these. However, we have them on our FACETRONS and we love them. Many of our students have asked where to get them so here is the source:


SPENCER, W.VA. 25276

PHONE: 304-927-1143



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Why I recomend FACETRON faceting machines.

For those interested I have written the primary reasons I prefer the FACETRON faceting machine over all others as I am often asked that question. I am also asked if there are any other machines I recommend. The answer to that question is NO. I have owned many different makes of faceting machines through the years. I have given each at least one year of use before I dismissed it. Most of them were good machines but not good enough to remain in my shop. After trying all the rest I returned to what I felt was the best, FACETRON. Unless anyone else has owned them all they simply aren’t experienced enough to know what I know is all I am saying...

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